• Best Practices in Covering Africa -seminar 9.-10.3.2015 in Metropolia UAS

    What is the story behind African media stories? How do I find independent and objective information from Africa? How do I report from Africa?

     Journalism for Civic Involvement, Democracy and Development (JOCID) -project organizes 2-day seminar and workshop titled

    “Best Practices in African Coverage”


    In Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
    Hämeentie 161, auditorium
    On Monday 9.3 13:00-17:00 and
    Tuesday (workshop) 10.3.2015 9:00-15:00

    The seminar is targeted for journalists and journalism students. Speakers come from Finland, Ghana, Namibia and Tanzania.

    Speakers are journalists, journalism university lecturers and representatives of Finnish Union of Journalists.

    Target of the seminar is to cover characteristics of diverse African media, state of freedom of speech in different parts of Africa and give participants guidelines and tools for any current or future news coverage.

    The seminar consists of keynote speeches and lectures on Mon 9.3. and a workshop on Tue 10.3.2015

    Participants of the workshop will produce a news piece in small groups. These news pieces will be reviewed by professionals.

    More information from Sami Huohvanainen (lecturer, Metropolia UAS) +358 40 334 9678 or sami . huohvanainen (a) metropolia . fi

    Seminar is free. Please register at http://bit.ly/jocidregistration by 2.3.2015

    Please note also that there is another seminar with similar content in Turku UAS in 5.-6.3.2015


    Monday 9.3.

     13:00 opening, Sami Huohvanainen, Metropolia UAS
    13:15 Juha Rekola, Vikes: Third World Journalism in Finland Now
    13:30 Zacharias Tanko, Ghana Institute of Journalism: Freedom of Expression in Ghana
    14:15 Simon Berege, University of Iringa: Freedom of expression in Southern Africa

     Coffee Break

     15:30 Hugh Ellis, Polytechnic of Namibia: Media Literacy in Southern Africa
    16:15 Risto Uimonen, Council for Mass Media in Finland: Freedom of Expression in Finland
    16:45 Kodwo Boateng, Ghana Institute of Journalism, Media Pluralism and Diversity in Ghana

    Tuesday 10.3

    9:00 Workshop assignment
    9:15-12:00 Working in groups

    Lunch (at cost, not included)
    13:00-15:00 Presentations and Feedback Discussion
    Sami Huohvanainen, Zacharias Tanko, Simon Berege, Hugh Ellis

  • “Are you sure this is going to work?!” “Nope.”

    Radio training week One in Ghana


    Radio is all about listening. We spent the Tuesday morning with a group of students who are training for the GIJ student radio. Our first goal was to open  and sharpen our ears and learn to work with the one and most important sense that is needed in order create good radio.

    We had interesting discussions about active listening skills and its features. We also pondered radio as a linear and time-reliant medium.  In the afternoon the students practiced their listening skills by focused listening and making observations of what they heard.

    During the day we had some time to look closer to GIJ radio facilities. Our afternoon was preserved for enhancing and repairing the radio production room. There were couple of computers for audio editing that we cleaned and fixed. We also installed some software and updates.

    Some of the students and national service officers are responsible for keeping the radio production running and maintaining the premises. We designed a maintenance and to-do list to make the editing facilities a little better.

    It was nice to see that the radio studio is serving as the students learning environment every day and the production room is in intensive use. In the future it would be nice to redesign the production room so that there would be a few more computers and the most important of all proper listening facilities to do radio work.

    Highlight of the day definitely was Sami’s food choice at the dinner. The traditional Ghanaian food “Light soup with seafood” contained some very interesting surprises especially because it was a bit dark and hard to see what one was eating. Tasty dinner although!


    On Wednesday we started the day with some basics of interviewing skills. Interview is one of the most common source for any journalistic work and particularly in radio.

    Sami went to lecture to third year students about new media and transmedia. It was a new experience for him, since it was the first time he had to lecture to such large number of students (approx 100 of them) in a huge classroom. Aura continued the morning with the radio group with basic microphone skills and hands-on training with digital recorders.


    The group had already been divided into smaller groups for the next weeks radio project. Half of the students practiced audio skills with the digital recorders and the other half planned questions patterns for some interviews they are supposed to do next week. Students focused very well and were able to learn the new technical and journalistic skills very fast.

    On Thursday morning we continued the assignments that had started yesterday. Two groups were doing recordings  and other two worked with the interview assignments. When assignments were ready we presented each groups question patterns to everyone and gave feedback for the planned interviews. We spent rest of the morning doing that and it seemed be useful to the group.

    Students were more confident to ask more specific questions and taking part to general discussion. We found out that the ideas interviews and programs were very good, each smaller group had spent some time and effort planning those and they had been concentrating well. We were supposed to show the editing software in the morning but we postponed it the the afternoon class.


    After the lunch Sami gave his lecture in New Media again, this time to Public Relation students. Sami ran into the same challenge than on Wednesday. The classroom which was located in ground floor was very noisy due to the fans but even more due to general noise from the yard, where a big group students were having their recess. Basically Sami had to shout his lectures from start to end, and there were no opportunities to questions.

    We met the radio students one more time in the afternoon after their lectures. Aura was introducing the group to the basics of audio editing and Audacity software. We distributed the software to students own laptops so that they were able to practice and eventually edit their own radio stories.


    Friday was our last training day with this group. We started the day by doing one more repeat of recording. This time Sami was the student and the group had to  teach him how to operate with digital recorder, step by step. Sami made a 3-minute long interview with one of the students, namely Asamoah.


    After that we distributed the recorded raw material to all the laptops that were available and students started to do their assignment, that was to edit the recorded interview with the Audacity. The group had only a bit more than one hour to do that. But every group did that.

     In the afternoon we took a brief walk-through in radio programming. We spoke a little about rotation wheel, a basic tool for designing a radio program, how it is constructed and how the clock is led to a running order.

    The last exercise for the students was to get a little glimpse of on-air hosting. Since the studio is broadcasting constantly we had to improvise a little. We gathered all the audio devices and cables we could find and pulled together a tiny studio environment.


    With the classroom PA-system, a tiny mixer, one microphone and a student’s laptop with music in it did the thing and we were able to simulate a live situation in front of a real audience. Sami co-hosted the show with a brave volunteer giving a short example of a real radio work. This fun group work ended our radio training this week.

    To summarize this week we could say that after the first day of getting to know each other it was inspiring and very educating for us teachers. We had several interesting conversations and got a good perspective to local young peoples world and to GIJs everyday life.



    Aura Neuvonen & Sami Huohvanainen
    lecturers from Metropolia UAS

  • “Like the magician said, a little misdirection never hurt.”

    Greetings from our teacher exchange in Ghana!
    We arrived on Sunday after long day of travelling. Our two weeks teacher exchange almost ended before it had even started because in the gigantic airport of Heathrow 1,5 hours was almost not enough to make to your next flight. Little running and kind flight attendants and made it happen so our host Mr. Kobina Bedu-Addo was able to pick us up only an hour late in dark and rainy Accra.

    After sleeping away the fatigue of the long travel we started our work this morning by meeting Kobina. We got briefing of student radio operations and got some good guidelines to start our teaching project.

    GIJ Radio has been active since this March. Second year degree program students are operating the radio station as a part of their compulsory studies. The exciting thing here is the number of students that are going to work with the radio in this semester. The total number is somewhere between 400 to 500 students altogether!

    We got to see the lecturing premises at GIJ as well the student radio facilities. The On-Air radio studio is located right in the middle of  the campus, which is an excellent location. Now the radio is visible part of everyday campus life and it center of whole GIJ community.

    There is also two production rooms right next to the studio, which seems to be good solution for operating. The premises are relatively small, especially when the number of students using these premises may be up to 80 at the same time. Not all of them will be there at the same time, but nevertheless, students need to deal with limited resources.

    Technically speaking the studio and the production rooms seemed to meet standards for student radio broadcasting.

    We also met GIJ’s rector W.S. Dzisah who welcomed us warmly to Ghana and GIJ. We discussed shortly about the plans to enhance the radio learning environment..

    Tomorrow morning we’ll start lecturing and work-shopping with smaller groups that are responsible for Student radio for the two weeks we’ll spend here.

    The amount students and the size of groups is quite different than us Finns are used to. This week is going to be both pedagogical and technical challenge.

    Though our problem solving skills were already measured today when we had to figure out how to fit a incorrect sized sim-card into our mobile phones. With pocket knife and little bit of macgyver skills we now have Ghanaian mobiles!


    Makes one wonder of all the things we’re going to see and learn during these weeks…

    Aura Neuvonen & Sami Huohvainainen
    lecturers from Metropolia UAS


  • JOCID Weeks: Journalism of development

    Development journalism was the theme of the JOCID Weeks in Turku University of Applied Sciences in the beginning of March.  The course “Newswriting – Focus on Development Journalism” brought the African JOCID exchange students, the Finnish journalism students and the ERASMUS students together. During the two weeks the students also explored the theme in practice.

    The course focused on the concepts of development in communication and journalism. There are different perceptions on the concept of development when it comes to the developed and developing world. One is the concept of development for the developed (first world) and the other the concept of development for the developing countries. Finnish language lacks an equivalent word for “development journalism”. Instead, the concept of “kehitysmaajournalismi” (literally “developing country journalism”) is used in the journalism profession, education and research.

    It has a slightly different connotation compared to development journalism. It is journalism about developing countries, rather than journalism dealing with development issues or aiming at facilitating social change. It also refers to journalism published in Finnish media – or in other Northern countries – and as such excludes journalism produced and published by the media in developing countries. (Read more: http://kulmakivi.ning.com/page/learning-module-3-journalism)

    The course was taught by the JOCID exchange teachers: Ms. Bertha Amakali, Deputy head of department from Polytechnic of Namibia, Mr. Geofrey Aloyce, Head of journalism department from University of Iringa and Mr. Kodwo Boateng, Acting dean from Ghana Institute of Journalism.

    Read the articles of development in the web publication Tutka: http://tutka.pro/?cat=1048



    The journalism students worked in international teams. The participants came from Belgium, Finland, Ghana, Namibia, Netherlands and Tanzania.



    The students produced articles about development using the cross media elements: text, video, audio and photos. 



    The two-week course was combining lectures of development journalism and practice: each student team was working on their own articles.



     The exchange teacher team: Mr. Godfrey Aloyce (left), Mr. Kodwo Boateng and Ms. Bertha Amakali. The course was also a new experience for the teachers: they were co-teaching together for the first time.



     We made it! Last day´s group photo. The articles are here: http://tutka.pro/?cat=1048





  • Perceptions of Africa

    My perceptions of Africa poster (2)


    Many people in the developed world such as Finland have a different perception of Africa.  Some view the continent as one entire country with war, famine and extreme poverty.  Perhaps our understanding and interpretation of development can be attributed to these perceptions.

    The western media usually portrays negative images of third world countries and minority groups. This impacts many people living outside these regions in the diaspora.  Africa has become synonymous to words describing harsh living standards of life such as poverty and disease.

    Development is a product of its context.  What others may view as not being development others may perceive as development.  For example many third world countries in Asia and Africa are very cultural sensitive people. They focus on developing the infrastructures in a modern fashion without having to conform to the cultures of modernisation.

    Joseph Iilonga´s audio documentary explores some of the perceptions people in Europe have of Africa, specifically in Finland.  All the participants in this documentary are members of the European community who are speaking from experience.  These are just their perceptions and not necessarily the entire Finnish community.

    Iilonga made this documentary during his JOCID student exchange period in TUAS, Finland.


  • How to combine school with work?


    Students in Finland are able to combine working with schooling as compared to Ghanaian students. The reasons why they keep jobs are varied. For some it is for the money, and others, the experience. But whatever their reasons maybe, the school timetable is flexible and makes it easy to combine work with school.

    Harriet Bless Ndanu made this documentary in the audio expression course during her JOCID student exchange period in TUAS, Finland.

  • The culture of greetings in different societies

    Editor: EVA KUUPUOLO

    I find it very interesting to learn about the culture of various societies. Having been in Finland for close to two months,  I have keenly observed that the way of life of Finnish people varies from that of my country Ghana. The way of dressing, food, language and above all the way of greetings are totally and completely new to me. It is in this light that I took it upon myself to delve more into the culture of greetings in different countries.  After listening to my audio, you get to learn about not only the greetings of Finnish people but also that of  the people of Ghana, Tanzania , England and Namibia.  All these forms of greetings are unique in their own way. Sit back, relax and enjoy…

    (From the left: Eva [Ghana], Rose [England], Frank [Tanzania] and Olivia [Namibia].)

    The audio documentary is produced during the Audio Expression course in Turku University of Applied Sciences. Eva Kuupuolo is studying in JOCID programme as an exchange student from Ghana.

  • JOCID Weeks in TUAS on March

    TUAS is receiving a team of African teachers for JOCID Weeks on March: Ms. Bertha Amakali, Deputy head of department from Polytechnic of Namibia, Mr. Geofrey Aloyce, Head of journalism department from University of Iringa and Mr. Kodwo Boateng, Acting dean from Ghana Institute of Journalism.

    Amakali, Aloyce and Boateng are co-teaching in an intensive course on development journalism. The TUAS journalism students and exchange students will be working together in international small groups. The aim is that each group produces a story, which begins from the perspective of development communication.

    The African teachers are staying in Turku for two weeks and are hosted by the TUAS Degree Programme in Journalism.


  • Exchange students in TUAS


    A group of exchange students have arrived to TUAS from Namibia, Ghana and Tanzania. From the beginning of January the students have been studying journalism in practise. At the moment they are working on radio stories with other exchange students. The stories will be published here in JOCID pages in the near future. Keep following us here and in Facebook!